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Daisy Wright | Your Career Partner‘s insight:

The main reason job seekers fear and fail at interviews is that they are attempting to read the interviewer’s mind then give answers they think the interviewer wants to hear. This mind-guessing game will not work and is destined to fail unless you know the reasoning behind the questions. Also posted at Career Musings – http://ow.ly/lO9oM

 

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Put a Little Love in Your Career

Valentino-3

Today is Valentine’s Day…as if you didn’t know, and it’s time to “Put a Little Love in You and Your Career”. It’s also the birthday of one of my cats, Valentino, and he has certainly lived the past 17 years as if he’s ‘the cat’s pyjamas’ or ‘the best thing since sliced bread’. Look at him all curled up, with nothing else to do. In earlier years,we would tie a red ribbon around his neck and give him a special birthday treat, but today I have just enclosed him in a heart!

This brings me around to you. Have you shown yourself some love lately? What if today you decide to proclaim to yourself that you are, indeed, the cat’s pyjamas or that you are the best thing since sliced bread? What if you decide to stop being sorry for yourself, stop listening to your inner critic telling you that you don’t measure up; that you will never get the job or promotion you have always dreamed of? What if, just for today, you take a chance and put a little love in yourself?

I was speaking with a friend yesterday who delightfully told me she wanted to do some thing for herself. She said she needed to put herself first for once, having put others before her for years, so she joined Toastmasters. She said, “That one hour is mine, and am going to revel in it!” Having said that, what about you? Are you ready to put yourself and your career first? Here are six tips to help you put a little love in yourself or your career today:
  1. Do what you have never done or go where you have never gone. Think of something you have always wanted to do, or somewhere you have always wanted to go. Is it something you could do today? If not, can you begin right now to develop a plan for it? Have you ever wanted to reach out to someone who could offer you some career advice, but you were afraid to ask? Today is a great day to reach out to that person. Forget all those butterflies in your stomach and take up the phone, send an email, meet them face-to-face and ask them to join you for a coffee.
  2. Commit to growing yourself. The fact you may have failed at something does not mean the end of the world. Reflect on that failure and ask yourself what were the lessons you learned from that event. Many years ago when I first applied to work with the United Nations, I failed Shorthand. In those days note taking was a requirement that came with the prestige of added pay. I was disappointed, but told myself that regardless of how long it took, it was going to happen one day. By the time I ended up at the UN, the skill wasn’t a requirement any longer, but I was well prepared. Sir Edmund Hillary was one of the first persons to climb Mount Everest. When he failed at his first attempt, he said to himself, “Mount Everest, you beat me the first time, but I’ll beat you the next time because you’ve grown all you are going to grow, but I am still growing.” Have you, like Mount Everest, grown all you are going to grow?
  3. Invest in yourself. Some people invest a lot of time and money planning for exotic vacations, but little or no time investing in their own career development. A couple of Fridays ago, a man called to ask if he could come in to see me on Monday morning for a resume and cover letter as he wanted to apply for job that had a cut-off time of 5 pm the following day (Tuesday). I told him that resume development is a time-consuming exercise, and my turnaround time on a project like his would be 10 business days. He then told me that he couldn’t afford me anyway. That wasn’t even the point. I wanted him to realize that such a slap-dash approach to one’s job search, or waiting until a job appears on Workopolis before realizing you need to brush up on your resume is not a great plan and will most likely reap frustration.
  4. Be relentless in your pursuits. Whatever it is you are after, be relentless. You have heard the saying, “A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins”. Never give up on your dreams even if it appears insurmountable. Create a success plan and harness all the support you can get to see that dream through.
  5. Be generous and give of your time. Volunteer your expertise to someone. Wondering if you have the skills to be a mentor? Stop wondering, and start mentoring. You have skills that others would benefit from. Think of the world of good you would be doing by mentoring another person. Probably you’re facing the question, “What’s in it for me?” The Christian Bible says, “It’s in giving that you receive.” You’re actually getting something in return. Isn’t that awesome?
  6. Love yourself. Look in the mirror right now and say to yourself, ” I love you!” Sounds crazy, but when last have you told your unique self how much you love her or him? Compare that against the hundreds of times you have said to your unique self, “I don’t like what I see…I am too fat…too skinny…too short…too tall…I cannot become…”, and all those self-degrading negative conversations you have ingrained in your head. Stare at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, like Marianne Williamson said, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be?”

There are many other tips you could come up with yourself, so use these as starters. See what you can do to put a little love in you and your career today.

Enjoy what’s left of Valentine’s Day, and even if you think you don’t have anyone to love, look within and love yourself!

 

10 Ways to Optimize your LinkedIn Experience

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It is said that LinkedIn is the number social network for professionals and job seekers, and I agree. However, many people are not taking advantage of this tool. This post, scooped from Scoop.it, ties in nicely with another recent post LinkedIn Endorsements: Fad, Foe or Friend!

LinkedIn offers value for all walks of life. This post tells you how you can optimize your LinkedIn experience . . .

1)      Keep your profile updatedGain more visibility by completing your profile and uploading a professional headshot.

2)      Customize your website or blog linkNo need to use LinkedIn’s generic “Company Website”. Personalize it with the name of your website or blog.

3)      Join Groups and EngageThis is where you meet people and build rapport. It’s not good enough to join groups but you must interact with members and contribute to discussions.

4)      Use the LinkedIn’s Endorsement FeatureWhile this feature has had its critics, it is a neat way to show appreciation to someone else.

5)      Recommendations – A recommendation is a more thorough representation of a business relationship. It can be time-consuming to write so if you are requesting one, proactively write it up yourself then send to the person to whom you are making the request. If someone is asking you for one, have the requester write up something themselves and you can tweak and edit accordingly.

6)      Content Curation – Take advantage of the LinkedIn Today feature where LinkedIn captures the day’s news. Stay informed!

7)      Post, Comment and Like – Create your own blog post on a topic, add your voice to a discussion by commenting on people’s blogs, and show appreciation by clicking on a ‘Like’ button.

8)      Tight or Loose Connections – You can determine how you want to use LinkedIn. Tight connections are those where you decide which invitations you will accept; loose connections means you are a LION – LinkedIn Open Networker – but it opens the flood gates to receive numerous invitations. This feature costs $10 per month.

9)      Premium Account – Read up on this option and see if it will be beneficial to you as there’s a fee structure.

10)  LinkedIn Advertising – Depending on your situation, you could take advantage of LinkedIn’s advertising service.

As it is with all other social engagement, you get what you put inIf you don’t stay active and participate consistently you will not get results from LinkedIn.

 
See original post on Steve Hughes’ geeklesstech.com

Lest We Forget…

Today, am taking a respite from my usual job search blog post to remember those who gave their lives in the pursuit of peace – something the world continues to struggle with – to those who continue to serve, and to those have returned to an uncertain future.

While watching MSNBC this morning, I heard Richard Liu, one of the network’s anchors, mentioned the name John McCrae and showed the Poem, “In Flanders’ Field”. I wondered aloud if Liu knew that Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was Canadian, and that he penned that poem on December 8, 1915.

Each November 11, I send around John McCrae’s poem to people in my network, because I believe it speaks volumes. Last year, I wrote a blog post 11 Things You Can do Between 11 AM and 11 PM On 11/11/11. Today, I want all of us to pause from whatever we are doing to reflect on those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, as well as those who continue to serve and protect. Let us never forget!

Additional reading: Great Canadian War Project

 

How to Spend a Little and Give a Lot

Well, this article is not my usual career or job search post. Far from it! It’s about spending a little and giving a lot!

The Giving Season is here! I don’t know about you, but since September I have been asked to support a number of causes – marathons, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Cancer Society, Sickle Cell, Child Find, and others. While I could not afford to contribute to all, I made a donation to most.

My daughter, having taken part in the fundraising event for the Juvenile Diabetes through her work, decided that this Christmas she is taking up a cause and chose Canadian Feed the Children.

This brings me to other ways that one can make a contribution that does not take a lot of time or money. Since 2010, I have been a part of Kiva. I started with a $25 donation to a woman business owner in Rwanda. As soon as she repaid the ‘loan’, I loaned the same $25 to a group in the Dominican Republic. Kiva sent me an email this week to say the group has repaid that loan. Now, that $25 is available to be lent to someone else. That one $25 is being recycled!

This week I received an update from Kiva about the first loan I had made:

“Thank you for supporting Providence with your loan. With the loan, she bought general store. Providence says that the loan helped the business because she was increasing her business by buying more quantity of milk, juice, water and so on. With the profits, Providence was able to pay children’s school fees and medical insurance…”

This is one way of spending a little and giving a lot. Join Kiva and help someone realize their entrepreneurial dream. Kiva

For several years I have sponsored a little boy in Haiti through the International Child Care Ministry of the Free Methodist Church. A year or so before my Mom passed away she also chose to sponsor a little girl in Haiti through the church. Since she has passed, I have been soldering on with both of these children, but feel I might have to give up sponsorship of the little girl. Of course, each time I think of it, I get a lump in my throat, but I will see how it goes.

A few weeks ago, a client of mine sent an email telling me (and others) about her son who fell down the stairs, and in one minute, became a paraplegic. She, too, is seeking donations for his care. She gave me permission to mention her story. Although the fundraiser has passed she is still accepting donations online at Gabe’s Back on Track. Here’s their YouTube video: Gabe.

Finally, I was watching MSNBC recently and discovered K.I.N.D. – Kids In Need of Desks – a UNICEF charity supported by Lawrence O’Donnell. It’s amazing what we take for granted when there are kids attending schools without desks. You can help here too. Visit KIND.

My point in mentioning these stories is to say that as you make plans for the holidays, consider how you could spend a little and give a lot. Small donations do matter, and it doesn’t matter which charity you choose. It could be one in your backyard!

All the best,

 

 

Monday Rx: The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

It has been raining on and off for a few days in my neck of the woods, and it is quite dark right now; yet I know that the sun will come out tomorrow.

Are you still waiting on the phone to ring for that job you so desperately need? Have you heard ‘No’, once too often? Are you stuck in a rut feeling you have done everything you possibly could? Whatever you are going through right now, it’s not permanent. The dark clouds will subside and the sun is going to come out tomorrow; if not tomorrow, the day after.

May these quotes add some sunshine to your day:

  • Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Thomas Edison.
  • Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle. ~ Christian D. Larson
  • When life seems hard, when you want to quit, look deep inside to find your spark to rekindle your fire. @MikeMoore
  • The road to a better tomorrow starts at the intersection of fear and faith. You can either yield onto insecurity lane, or you can take a deep breath and put the pedal to the metal on the courage freeway. ~David Roppo (Thanks to +Lisa K. Smith for this one)

If these Monday Morning picker-uppers are benefiting you, then they might benefit others in your circle. Have them subscribe to the RSS feed above to get each post.

To your success,

 

Good Neighbours – A 911 Tribute

While reading my Daily Bread yesterday (Saturday), I found the following:

“When US airspace was closed after the September 11, 2001, attacks, planes had to land at the closest airport available. Nearly 40 planes landed in Gander, Newfoundland. Suddenly this small Canadian community almost doubled in size when thousands of frightened passengers arrived. People opened their homes, and officials converted high schools, lodges, churches, and meeting halls into places to stay. Stranded passengers were overwhelmed with neighborly generosity and kindness.” (Our Daily Bread)

Canada played a crucial role at that time. Today, let us be neighbourly and remember the families of the thousands of individuals who lost their lives, including 24 Canadians and 26 Jamaicans.

We cannot forget!

 

 

 

Monday Rx: Value Has a Value Only if its Value is Valued

The headline for this post is really a tongue-twister, so read it again for clarity.

Today is Labour / Labor Day in Canada and the US, but am still sending  my message, albeit a shortened version. It’s a 30-second speech from Bryan Dyson, the former CEO of Coca Cola.

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air. They are Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit, and you are keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – Family, Health, Friends and Spirit – are made of glass. If you dropped one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.

Work efficiently during office hours and leave on time. Give the required time to your family and friends and have proper rest. Value has a value only if its value is valued.”

Whatever you are doing right now, take a moment to reflect on the message and evaluate your priorities. I am doing just that today!

To your success,

 

Tips for Moms Returning to Work – Part III

Are you a mom preparing to return to the workforce in the New Year? Read Tip #3:

Choosing the right résumé format. Employers tend to prefer the chronological résumé, which gives a historical timeline of your work experience, but this becomes problematic when you have been away from the workforce for a time. As an alternative, you could use the functional format which focuses on notable skills and accomplishments gained from a number of jobs. Use headings such as Administration, Fundraising, Event Planning and Project Management, and list your activities and achievements under those headings. Another alternative is to use a combination format, beginning with a value statement or professional summary that answers the employer’s question, “What should we hire you?” Below is an example:

VALUE STATEMENT

Juggled several tasks as president of school council and chair of membership committee of the local Girl Guides Club. Negotiated sponsorship opportunity with a major retail chain enabling the club to increase membership from 25 to 80 within 5 months. Initiated and led the first Neighbourhood Watch group in Lakeside, significantly reducing incidences of trespassing by 25%. Used Excel to create a budget for a family of five, monitoring it on a weekly basis to ensure there were no overruns. Managed bookkeeping responsibilities for a sole proprietor and implemented an aggressive collections policy that increased cash flow by 30%.

The above summary is an example of how you could incorporate your family and civic involvement into your résumé. The aim is to be creative and bring together your outside professional involvement as well as your related child-rearing activities.

2009 Awards of Excellence

While I was nominated for two awards this year – ONESTEP 2009 Awards of Excellence (The Ontario Network of Employment Skills Training Projects), and Career Professionals of Canada’s “2009 Award of Excellence”, .

cpc-aoe-final-2009

It’s not possible to post all the documentation related to the nominations, so I have listed few highlights:

1.

My book: No Canadian Experience, eh? A Career Survival Guide for New Immigrants Letters of acknowledgement were received from: The Right Hon. Governor General Michaëlle Jean, MPP Linda Jeffrey, and former Minister of Citizenship & Immigration, Hon. Mike Colle, who cited in a letter that the book “is an excellent resource tool”.

A publisher of career books in Toronto remarked in an email that he “was pleasantly surprised to see so much valuable information for a segment of the population that was largely ignored in regards to the job search.”

2.

I was also nominated for the 2009 One Step Award of Excellence for my work on the Pathway to Success for Women – Life Skills and Career Options Program.

“Certain areas were not originally included in the curriculum, but based on her assessment of the needs of each group, she was able to incorporate small business information and interviewing techniques into the program. In an effort to enhance the Personal & Professional Communication section of the program, she took several of the women on field trips to attend meetings of Toastmasters.” ~ Wanda Marsman, Assistant Manager, COSTI Immigrant Services.

******

“No Canadian Experience, Eh?” … is unique and exceptional because it is the first and only resource for foreign trained professionals that focuses solely on the issue of lacking Canadian experience as a main hurdle impeding their employment integration in their fields of training and experience.” ~Dr. Yamil Alonso, Program Director BNRC, Brampton

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“Daisy Wright was inspirational, motivating and passionate about this program.  It is her genuine need to help people that made this program more enjoyable”. Program Participant.


3.

Opportunities 2008 Conference – Co-presenter on Session – “Wanted:  A Mentoring Model for Employers to Ensure Successful Workforce Integration of New Immigrants”. This was an attempt to get service providers to engage employers in understanding the value that Internationally-Educated Professionals could bring to their organizations.

4.

My work as Career Advisor to The Link, a radio program on CBC Radio Canada International (Since February 2008).